Norwegian tanker adrift in Victoria court

A Norwegian tanker that has landed in a Victoria court for alleged illegal dumping was nabbed by a Transport Canada surveillance flight.

A Norwegian tanker company that has landed in a Victoria court for alleged illegal dumping was nabbed by a Transport Canada surveillance flight.

The M/T Champion, a ship belonging to Champion Tankers A/S out of Bergen, Norway, and an individual named Robert Ruzic face four environmental charges related to illegal dumping at sea.

The case remains adrift, as nobody from the company appeared for a scheduled plea hearing in Victoria provincial court last Thursday. The hearing is held over until Oct. 25.

Ruzic, the ship, Champion Tankers and its parent company, Champion Shipping A/S, face two charges of improper disposal of a substance at sea, and two charges of improper deposit of substances harmful to migratory birds.

Environment Canada, the agency that investigated the case, said in an email to the News that a Transport Canada aircraft on a routine surveillance flight reported that the M/T Champion discharged fish oil into the ocean, about 135 miles west of Vancouver Island on July 30, 2010.

Investigators learned the ship didn’t have a permit to discharge waste in Canadian waters. Environment Canada doesn’t give permits to dump fish oil or waste from fish processing, “as practical opportunities are available to recycle, reuse or treat the waste,” a spokesperson said in the email.

The charges relate to an unspecified volume of fish oil and another “oily substance.” Environment Canada won’t say how much was allegedly dumped, but noted that the federal government has “zero tolerance” for polluting the marine environment.

Transport Canada operates a Dash-8 pollution surveillance aircraft based out of Vancouver for the National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP), which is the government’s primary method to monitor illegal offshore dumping.

Transport Canada said the Vancouver-based plane spends about 600 hours per year on patrol, with the majority over the shipping lanes of southern coastal waters.

“With the recent investments in NASP since 2006, the number of mystery spills observed offshore in the commercial shipping lanes and the amount of oiled birds washing ashore has significantly declined,” Transport Canada told the News in an email.

Champion Tankers website said the company has 11 tanker vessels and transports vegetable oils, palm oils, molasses and clean petroleum products.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Metchosin Mayor John Rann welcomes new council members

Half of Metchosin council are incumbents

What to pack in an emergency-preparedness kit for earthquakes

Several earthquakes of Vancouver Island’s West Coast have people wondering how to be ready

Rotating Canada Post strikes begin in Victoria

Monday’s mail will be delayed one day due to strike

West Shore RCMP seizes Camp Namegans’ U-Haul truck

Lock and gate damaged at Thetis Lake Campground in View Royal

Multiple earthquakes off Vancouver Island recorded around the world

Five earthquakes overnight on Oct. 21 were measured as ‘strong’

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read